Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War
Sebastian Faulks is one of England's most important writers of this time. He is known among other things, for his world-wide bestsellers Engleby and One week in December. Birdsong is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of the First World War, and has now been filmed by the BBC as Birdsong.
In 1910, the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford is sent to Amiens by his employer to study the French textile industry. He falls in love with Isabelle, the wife of his landlord, and experiences a short, passionate relationship with her. She flees Amiens and Isabelle becomes pregnant, but she feels guilty and returns to her husband. Stephen becomes a British military at the Somme in 1916, the area where he lost his great love and soon to be the location for one of the greatest slaughters in human history. The horrific circumstances make Stephen an alienated bitter man, but he succeeds in surviving the inferno of the trenches. At the end of the seventies, his granddaughter, Elizabeth Benson, finds her grandfather's diaries in a dusty attic.